Canadian Auto Workers (CAW / TCA)

The origin of the Canadian Auto Workers in Saskatchewan dates back to August 16, 1955. Local 820 was chartered to the International Automobile, Aircraft, and Implement Workers of America (UAW/CIO) in Regina. The founding members of this local were employed by Ford Motor Company of Canada working in a parts distribution centre. Local 820 was to remain a small local (around fifty) throughout its history, but did acquire new members as time went on, owing to some activities in organizing. Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd, Chrysler of Canada, and Massey Ferguson workers were to become members of the amalgamated local. The local no longer exists today as none of the companies it represented have workplaces in the province. In 1985 the United Autoworkers in Canada were going through changes which led to differences of opinion and approach to collective bargaining within the structure of the international union; the Canadian section of the union wanted more control over its destiny when bargaining with international corporations in Canada.

The result of all this was the formation of the National Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of Canada (UAW/ Canada) at a founding convention held on September 4, 1985, in Toronto, Ontario. The name was amended at subsequent conventions to National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada (CAW-Canada). The membership grew across the country through traditional organizing and through a number of mergers with other Canadian unions in industries, workplaces, and jurisdictions not represented by the autoworkers; membership in Saskatchewan also increased. The CAW now represents approximately 1,100 workers in the airline, railway, hospitality and trucking industries as well as other workplaces in the province.

Barry Farrow